I promise this will be my last question lol. I just find this place more helpful/nice than BP reddit.
I have this 2 year old BP. I know they sometimes don’t poop for a long while, but I swear mine hasn’t gone in like… 3ish months. Is that normal? I gave him a warm bath like twice (it doesn’t stress him, doesn’t seem to care) but nothing. He urates occasionally though. I also honestly can’t tell if he looks fatter because he hasn’t pooped yet or not. Any advice?
My second question is, he looks a bit chunky to me and I’m trying to get him to lose weight. I’d really like him to be nice and lean, not have a small head and fat body as many overweight snakes look… I was feeding him an about 70-80 gram rat every 2-3 weeks, but now I’ve pushed it back to every 3-4 weeks, with a 40-50 gram rat. Is that okay or will that stunt him in some way? He’s around 1100 grams last time I weighed him. Thank you!
I can tell you I’m terrified to post in any other forum because it’s awful being ridiculed incessantly over a genuine question. You won’t find that here. So you’re at the right place to ask questions, plus there are so many more knowledgeable and respected people here.
As far as the pooping issue, you’re on the right track with the warm baths. I had posted maybe 2 months ago worrying about my girl not pooping. I was worried like you. Make sure your temps in her enclosure are good, and I’d hold off on feeding maybe until he poops. Luckily mine ended up pooping (like medium dog-sized poo!) but I had lined up a vet appointment just in case. She pooped the week before her appointment.
She was also a chonk, and your plan to reduce size of prey and feeding intervals sounds good. Some of my bp will eat everything offered so I definitely cut down like you are. They are just smaller snakes; kind of like there are smaller healthy people along with taller healthy people. Yours sounds like a good weight.
First of all don’t ever apologize for asking questions here! That’s what this community is for! We don’t judge!
Second, there are others more qualified to help you than me but maybe to get things rolling, what type of enclosure and substrate is he in and on? What temps and humidity do you have set? Does he have any issues with shedding?
I have a 2 year old female that eats a small rat every 2 weeks or a medium rat every 3to 4 weeks.
STP’s can go for long periods of time without pooping but I don’t think ball pythons should go for months at a time, which leads to imo to having correct temps.
I am sure there will be others who will jump in with some solid advice for you, breeders especially!
That’s really good to know. Some people are too uptight I feel and not all snakes work by the books, they’re individuals and some things just work better than others for some.
That’s good to know! I’m not too worried since he still acts totally normal, but I’d really like to weigh him without a massive log in him and it made me realize he hadn’t gone in a while haha.
Yeah I think he might stay smaller. I’m not totally sure as the last time I weighed him was honestly like those 3ish months ago, but I don’t feel like he’s grown. But feeding smaller rats, at least until he poops and I can reasses, feels better.
Thank you! I appreciate that.
His humidity right now is like 60-70%. His hot spot is 92-95f and temps on his cold side are around 77f. He moves between both the hot and cold side and moves around at night as he usually does. He’s kept on reptichip.
EDIT: He always sheds in one piece!
Also, if he is on a darker/loose substrate or is in a bioactive, is it possible he is pooping and they are getting lost/cleaned up before you notice them?
You are welcome! Ok so imho the hot side is way too hot. It should range from 85 to 88.degrees. Humidity should be 50 to 60% but if he sheds with no problem then I would not change it.
As @gina5678 Gina said, soaking is good. And cut down on the feeding as well. I would give him a little more time and I think you should see some poop hopefully soon!
But keep us updated!
As far as his hot spot, it’s strongly recommended to only have it at 86-88; not sure if lowering that will make a difference in the poop situation but I’d definitely suggest lowering his hot spot
Keep us updated; and we love photos so don’t be shy posting pictures of him!
Oh no, I definitely notice his poop. I spot clean frequently and he’s not in a bioactive either.
Oh alright! I was under the impression that surface temperature was fine at 95, but nothing higher. His air temp is not that high. But I’ll look into lowering it. And as far as humidity, I’ve heard that I shouldn’t even let it drop below 80%! But he’s done totally fine in humidity slightly lower than 60 so I have no issues there - it fluctuates anyway.
I’ll lower it! Is the cool side alright? sometimes it can drop to 75 exactly… and that always worries me. My friend has had a BP for 20 years though and sometimes her cold side gets to 71 and he’s like the healthiest BP ever, so I’m never sure.
And snake tax here! 20230811-181547 hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB
75 is perfect for the cold side I would say, so 71 isn’t too bad either. His hot side shouldn’t get past 90-95 because that is too hot as was already mentioned. I know you were already told that but I still figured I would mention what I’ve heard and the rule of thumb I’ve gone by! Like others said don’t worry about asking questions, you can never ask too many when it’s for the care of your animal. You definitely care about making sure your snake is thriving and that’s a good thing so don’t be nervous! Also my bp didn’t poop for 3-4 months once and finally did the DAY OF his appointment… Vet said he seemed dehydrated and to give him a soak once a week until he is more hydrated (I admit I soaked him once and then stopped after that because I forgot but he ended up being fine after the first one anyways!) and so far after that I haven’t had issues with it. Sometimes they just take a long time but it’s safer to assume something is wrong and to try and find the issue instead of accidentally ignoring an existing issue.
P.S. that is an ADORABLE ball python! Love love love it!
Alright! Then I’ll definitely aim for something cooler then! I’ll feel safer that way too just in case and it’ll only help humidity. And ty guys sm. I feel like i’d be persecuted just suggesting a lower temp or humidity anywhere else.
I’ll continue giving him weekly baths too! And ty, he’s been a great BP. He’s not been making it easy making me want to get more, but my anxiety wouldn’t let me haha.
Oh my gosh! That face, I love it! What’s his name? He’s precious.
Humidity 50-60% is ideal. I raise mine a bit when they’re about to shed 70ish %). Higher humidity can lead to health problems I believe. I haven’t been in that situation with super high humidity so I can’t speak from experience there though. Your cool side is fine, lower 70s is good, just not lower than 70.
Snakes are like potato chips…you can’t have just one lol.
That’s perfect to hear! I was always stressing when it was low 60%. And in the winter it can get below 75 sometimes, but never under 70.
I know. Kinda really want a dwarf boa, but they’re way too expensive and I’m gonna have to move first!
Ah yes, I’m in the same situation but my parents will allow me to get another animal that I pay for completely as long as it won’t eat the cats! I’m joking but I’m also not, they have limits to the size of the animals. I want to and am planning on getting a boa constrictor, jungle morph (they are gorgeous)
You have your heatmat on a thermostat correct? I don’t remember if that has been asked before so that’s why I’m asking.
Oh my family doesn’t care too much. My sister has 3 reptiles (1 snake, 2 geckos) and I have the BP. It’s just me who is trying hard to wait, since I do plan on moving in the future, and doing so with 2 snakes seems even more stressful. Boas are really cool though, although their potential size is why if I do get another, a dwarf sounds great.
I currently have a DHP, but it’s actually on a slider (the ones you can get from like, Home Depot?) since I was told the thermostat I have won’t work for it (JumpStart) and in the future I plan on getting the Herpstat.
Ball Pythons are heavy bodied snakes compared to corn snakes or other colubrids. They are not as heavy bodied as some other pythons such as Blood Pythons. You should strive to have a healthy body condition Ball Python, not a lean one (or a chunky one). It worries me a little when you say you want a lean BP.
Basically in slightly underweight BPs you’re going to see a more prominent ridge on the spine, kind of a sharp angle when you look down the length. In a slightly overweight BP you’ll see fat humps on each side of the spine. Emily calls that cleavage. You want it to be nice and rounded across the spine. Being able to feel the ribs and excess skin is probably a more extreme sign of underweight. That sausage look that the Corn Snake Emily holds is disgusting. I don’t think overweight BPs get that look by the tail. And yes, if you can see scale separation to the point where you can see skin between individual scales, that’s an overweight snake.
And yes there are obvious times where you’ll see of these symptoms: if they just fed, if they just laid a clutch, if the female is about to lay a clutch, maybe if it’s about to poop a big ol’ log, obvious stuff.
So strive for a 5, as Emily describes.